Trail Crest, where Mt. Whitney hikers first reach the ridge between the western and eastern side of the Sierras, is at the top of a series of ninety-seven switchbacks.

I reached Trail Crest fifteen minutes before our pre-planned "turnaround time" of 2:30 PM. Although I didn't make it to the summit, I was very satisfied with Trail Crest. At 13,800 feet, it is nearly at the same altitude as the summit and the view is spectacular.

The sky really was as clear and deep blue as it appears in these pictures. By the time I got back down to the bottom of the switchbacks, however, the sky had clouded over and it began to snow.

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